OUTRAGEOUS GOVERNMENT-EMPLOYEE PENSIONS HARMING LAKE COUNTY TAXPAYERS!

The Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its study of the Lake County area government-employee pensions, highlighting the top pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study.

“It is no mystery what’s driving the economy-killing property tax increases in Lake County,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “It’s the state’s lavish, gold-plated pension plans for retired government employees.”

“The perpetual tax increases that plague Illinois residents have nothing to do with children, roads, or services. They are about pensions for the privileged government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality it only frees up increased taxes for government pensions. It’s a shell game.”

“Those of us in the private sector must reduce our spending if our income decreases; we can’t just go to our employer and demand more money to fund irresponsible spending. That’s not true for the political class.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is subsidized by property taxes. If that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners are also eligible to receive Social Security pensions.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer-funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so outrageous. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security.”

“Here are some egregious examples.”

“Dwight Magalis retired from the Lake County government at the age of 52! His current annual pension from IMRF is $172,303. He will receive $3,030,251 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime. He also is eligible for Social Security. ”

“Henry S. Bangser retired from New Trier TWP HSD 203 at the age of 57. His current annual pension is $331,489. For a total contribution he made to his pension of only $336,612, he will accumulate $9,557,306 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime. What a racket!”

“Girard Weber retired from the College of Lake County at the age of 66. His current annual pension is $304,266. For a total contribution he made to his pension of only $314,282, he will receive $7,015,970 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime. Wow!”

“Linda L. Yonke retired from New Trier TWP HSD 203 at the age of 63. Her current annual pension is $263,645. She will receive $7,484,592 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime.”

Click here to view all top Lake County Pensions.

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are partly funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the state income tax again. They placed, on the November 2020 ballot, another statewide income tax increase.

What does a statewide income tax increase mean for you? It means stealing from you to subsidize government pension millionaires.”

“The federal graduated income tax was sold to taxpayers as ‘a tax cut for the middle class.’ How did that turn out?”

“The state government employee pension system is the single cause of Illinois’ critical financial situation and it is mathematically impossible to tax our way out of this situation.”

“The Illinois government in Springfield has failed us. It’s in everyone’s best interest to solve the pension problem before the system completely collapses. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ it will collapse, but when.”

“All new hires should be placed into 401(k) style retirement savings accounts. Member contributions to their retirement funds should be increased. Retirement age for full benefits should be increased to at least 65, preferably to 67, and contributions for health care also should be increased. Anything short of these reforms will do nothing to permanently solve the problem.”

DECATUR DECIMATED BY GOV. PENSION TAX INCREASES

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DECATUR, IL – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on Decatur area Macon County government pensions, including the top 200 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Tax raisers in Decatur and Macon County haven’t seen a tax increase they didn’t love,” said Val Zimnicki, TUA Director of Outreach.

“Decatur property taxes saw a punishing increase of nearly 15%, largely to cover IMRF pensions. IMRF pensions are funded by property taxes while the other five state pension systems are funded by the state income tax.”

“Decatur Schools are borrowing about $55 million, at taxpayers’ expense, to improve facilities. This is part of a plan that is supposed to reduce expenses by closing some facilities and expanding others. We will believe the next real reduction when we see it.”

“With one of the most rapidly shrinking populations in the state, Decatur should be making lots of tax cuts. Over the last few decades we heard how they needed more funding because of growth and yet they still demand more money when the population shrinks. Their lust for taxpayers hard-earned money never ends.”

“The Macon County effective property tax rate increased from $1.79 in 2017 to $2.45 in 2018. The county lost 1,009 residents in the same period.”

“Let’s be clear: this is not about the children or the roads. This is about pay and pensions for the elite government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality, it only frees up pre-increase revenues for pensions.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by these punishing property taxes. If that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners, for the most part, also receive Social Security pensions.”

  • Click here to see the top 200 Decatur area TRS pensions.
  • Click here to see the top 200 Decatur area municipal, and Macon County IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Decatur area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated state income tax. When the state goes under, they will be enjoying their retirements and their fat taxpayer-funded pensions in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class Macon County taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. And his tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with the latest gargantuan gasoline tax-hike.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security, and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

Elmer B. McPherson retired from Decatur School District 62 at the age of 56. His current annual pension is $190,024. His payments into TRS for his own pension were $192,724. His estimated lifetime pension payout, over a normal lifetime, will be about $5,759,375.

Lawrence R. Fichter retired from Macon County at the age of 64. His current annual pension is $157,680. His payments into IMRF totaled $211,401. He will realize about $2,645,709 in pension payments over a normal lifetime. Lawrence is also eligible for a social security pension.

Gayle Saunders retired at the age of 62 from Richland Community College. With a current annual pension of $246,881, Saunders will collect about $7,327,987 over an normal lifetime, after having paid into SURS only $342,926.

“Illinois is functionally bankrupt, and the cause is runaway government employee pensions with unfunded liabilities so huge that it is mathematically impossible for the state to tax their way out of this financial black hole.”

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings accounts, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 65. These measures would at least slow the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.

Madison & St. Claire County Taxpayers Reject Job-Killing Sales Tax Increase

Edwardsville – Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF) today released its updated study on the Madison and St. Claire County area government-employee pensions, including the top 500 pensions in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS), top 200 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), and the State University Retirement System (SURS). Taxpayers United of America (TUA) issued the following statement based on the TEF pension study:

“Madison and St. Claire County taxpayers are much smarter than the government bureaucrats who try to rule them,” said Jim Tobin, TUA president. “The hacks that run the governments in these geographically challenged areas keep trying to add a new school sales tax, but voters are smart enough to realize that this simply drives shoppers, and their money to lower tax areas nearby or across the river.”

“Rather than try to cut spending, these government bureaucrats just keep increasing taxes. The St. Claire County Board voted to increase the 2019 property tax levy by 5%. Property taxes in the area have already nearly doubled in the last 20 years but that still isn’t enough for these blood-thirsty parasites!”

“It is no mystery what is driving the economy-killing property tax increases in these counties. In a word, pensions. IMRF pensions are funded with property taxes and state law requires that the IMRF pension bill is paid before all others. The taxpayers currently pay $3 in property taxes for every $1 that IMRF members pay into their own retirement fund.”

“The perpetual tax increases that plague Illinois residents have nothing to do with children, roads, or services. This is about pay and pensions for the privileged-government class. This money may be ‘earmarked’ for buildings or whatever, but in reality, it only frees up pre-increase revenues for pensions.”

“The IMRF pension fund, which gives lavish, gold-plated pension benefits to retired municipal employees, is funded by property taxes. If that isn’t bad enough, IMRF pensioners, for the most part, also receive Social Security pensions.”

  • Click here to see the top 500 Madison and St. Claire County area TRS pensions.
  • Click here to see the top 200 Madison and St. Claire County and area municipal IMRF pensions
  • Click here to see the top Southwestern Illinois area SURS pensions

“The entire local and statewide pension system in Illinois is unsustainable. The other five statewide pension funds are funded by the state income tax. Democrat Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker and his tax-raising cronies want to stick it to middle class taxpayers by increasing the income tax under the guise of a ‘more fair’ graduated income tax. When the state goes under, they will be long gone and enjoying their fat taxpayer-funded pensions in Arizona or Florida.”

“Middle-class taxpayers would be decimated by the Pritzker income-tax hike if it passes. There is nothing fair about his ‘fair tax’ that will, by design, siphon even more wealth out of the pockets of the middle-class. And his tax increases won’t stop there as we’ve seen with Pritzker’s gargantuan gasoline tax increase.”

“When you look at what the individual government retirees are actually collecting in taxpayer-funded pensions, you can get a better idea of why this theft of taxpayer wealth is so egregious. Keep in mind that the average taxpayer will collect only about $17,500 a year from Social Security, and that most IMRF pensioners are also eligible for a Social Security pension.”

John N. Benedetti retired from Grant CHSD 124 at the age of 60. His current annual pension is $211,794. He paid $371,704 into TRS and will accumulate $6,209,324 in taxpayer funded pension payments over a normal lifetime.

David Werner retired from SIU – Edwardsville at the age of 62. His current annual pension payment is $276,301 and already exceeds the $246,018 he paid into the SURS for his own pension. He will realize about $5,755,062 in total pension payments over a normal lifetime.

William R. Haine is retired from the Madison County government and currently collects $158,422 a year in pension payments from the IMRF. His payments into his own retirement fund were only $110,031. Retiring at 58, his pension payments will total about $3,308,494 over a normal lifetime. William is also eligible for a social security pension.

“Illinois is functionally bankrupt, and the cause is runaway government employee pensions with unfunded liabilities so huge that it is mathematically impossible for the state to tax their way out of this financial black hole.”

“All Illinois government new hires should be placed in a 401(k) style retirement savings accounts, beginning immediately, and the retirement age should be increased to 67. These measures would at least slow the bleeding until comprehensive pension reform can be enacted.”